Wednesday 27 October 2010

40. Peated Ale

The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. I adored a lamb once, the farmer promised not to tell anyone if I gave him a score. The lamb in question was not as important as the one in Van Eyck’s altarpiece and wasn’t leaking from its breast but she was still captivating in her ovine beauty. What has the picture and my bestial quip got to do with this week’s brew you ask? Nothing. Nor has my irritation with people who start every other sentence with “do you know what”. They are just ripples in the millpond of my sanity.

This week we embrace phenolics in a way never done before in a beer (until Martyn Cornell leaves a comment informing me that someone made this beer before). It is the phenolics in peat which gives the peaty notes to peaty whisky. Whisky producers specify their peated malts in terms of their phenolic content. Phenolics have a tarry, medicinal aroma. Peated malt is produced by drying germinating barley in peat smoke. Peated malt is not especially dark so the beer will be amber in colour. I expect it to be like liquid coal-tar soap and pretty undrinkable. I shall be doing all I can to prevent this but I suspect that I will urinating in the wind.

Tech Spec:

Malt: Peated Malt

Hops: Apollo

Yeast: German Weisse

OG: 1080


Ed said...

Eeeek! All peated malt? It will indeed be truly foul. I used about 10% in a beer once and it was pretty much undrinkable (and I'm quite determined). I left some bottles in a shed and forgot about them, and when I found them years later...they were still undrinkable.

@zatytom said...

Breconshire do a beer (Night Beacon) with a teeny amount of peated malt and it's yummy. All peated malt will be... interesting! mmmm... germoline.

Stuart Howe said...

If the fuel refinery smell coming off the FV is anything to go by, I think that you gentlemen may be right. This beer may have to be blended!

Anonymous said...

“In most parts of the West, their malt is so stenched with the smoak of the wood with which ’tis dried, that no stranger can endure it, though the Inhabitants, who are familiarized to it, can swallow it as the Hollanders do their thick black Beer brewed with Buck Wheat.”
(Guide to Gentlemen and Farmers for Brewing the Finest Malt Liquors, published in 1703)

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